Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Finally, a post!

Okay, my apologies. I know it's rude to go MONTHS without posting. Seems like I have been in a tail-spin since mid-July, but I think things are finally settling down. My spell of unemployment came to an end on August 31st, when I went to work at First Coast News. Been there ever since, and I'm enjoying it. What's First Coast News? It's a "duopoly" of tv stations, here in the Jacksonville area, and I'm the Accounting Manager. Sounds important, doesn't it? Really, I'm just the middle person between the Business Manager and the Accounting Clerk. "Middle management" is what I'm called. Okay, I'll take that.

Oddly the same time I started my job, I also developed an auto-immune disorder. Well, I should qualify that statement. I haven't "officially" been diagnosed, but my doctor is reasonably certain "it" is auto-immune. I started out, actually early this summer, complaining of an itchy nose. The itch progressed across my face, then around my eyes. My mid-September, I was starting to look like a red-eyed raccoon. I went to the doctor in October, and they put me on prednisone along with lots of other meds. Not sure if it was the prednisone, or the usual progression of the disease, but a few weeks into that, it blossomed into a full body rash, and then severe muscle burning, pain and high fevers. Only just a few weeks ago, my doctor and I have together come to the conclusion that I have an auto-immune disease known as dermatomyositis. The bloodwork done in September was showing high sed rate and high levels of CPK, muscle enzymes that are present when muscles are being damaged. My last visit to the doc, I asked him about this auto-immune disease I'd found online, which had a "signature" of a heliotrope rash, which is the red rash around the eyes, as well as the rash across my arms, legs, shoulders, hands and face. I thought when he started to laugh that maybe he was thinking I'm an idiot and should stay off the internet. that wasn't the case. He laughed as he turned my chart around to show me he had written the same diagnosis down already. We were on the same page. He said he'd like to continue with treatment as is currently, and ween me off the steroids to see where this develops from there. His suspicion is that it will flare, and we'll be treating it again with steroids and other meds. By then, the hope is I will have active insurance, since I've been self paying from the beginnning, and then he can run the necessary tests to pinpoint this "stuff".

Total change of subject now... Thanksliving! This week John and I are taking the kids up to southeastern Georgia to Stephen C Foster state park. We made a run up there this past Sunday and felt we really loved the park. There were many deer out and about during the day, so we're sure the nightlife will prove to be interesting. There are signs warning to not feed bears, and pets are not allowed in or around the water, including in the canoes because of the high populations of alligators. Well, Callie's not going to be happy about that, is she? I've planned fried chicken, along with fried turkey wings, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, green beans and corn. Dessert, well.. we're camping, so marshmallows, of course. I've also purchased Jiffy Pop to pop on the camp stove. There's a warning (yes, one I read!) on the packaging to not pop it on a campfire, darnit, but gives directions for a camp stove. The kids will no doubt be fascinated by the whole process of popping this corn.

We haven't been camping since spring break, except for one trip in September, when Judy my mother in law, and I took the kids to Anastasia for the weekend. In good Chappell tradition, it is going to be cold, and possibly rain. I am looking forward to sitting around the camp site without a thought in the world about home or work. I'm looking forward to watching my children enjoy their environment, as they spot deer in the woods. Our visit ths past Sunday, produced a rattle snake crossing the road as well. I'm hoping this was a freakish event, and we will not be seeing another of these creatures!

I'll keep you posted to our progress ...


Amanda said...

I love it when my diagnosis mirrors the doctor's -- your Google-fu is strong! :D

Kim Lahaie Day said...

Hi Suzanne!

Oh, happy day! A posting from you after all this time....love it! Looking forward to seeing your photos and hear your stories about the trip to GA. Certainly there will be some....there always are! I had no idea there was still Jiffy Pop out there, thinking that microwaves replaced it. Hope it went well...